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PRE- & POST NATAL MASSAGE

Prenatal Massage

 
PHOTO: Courtesy of Jessie Wheldon, winner of our August 2017 Yummy Mummy Baby Bump Competition

Pregnancy Massage is a specialised Massage tailored to meet the expectant mother’s needs. Massage can play a meaningful role in maintaining health and comfort during this important time of your life. In Pregnancy you can experience pain through your hips, shoulders, lower back, arms and feet due to the changes taking place in your physical body and hormones.

Massage can help to relax and reduce muscle and joint pain, increase circulation and alleviate oedema. It improves oxygenation to soft tissue and muscles. The relaxing effect of receiving a massage prepares you for birth and increases oxytocin, the feel good hormone which supports labour and bonds you with your new child.

The massage takes place on our float bed. A water bed that allows you to lie safely on your stomach if you are able. It is fully hydraulic, with the head and feet lifting up to place you in a semi-reclined position while you are being massaged. Our qualified team use specialised techniques to help you relax and feel renewed.

The benefits of prenatal massage include:

  • Increased circulation and flexibility
  • Deep relaxation to allow our mind to slow
  • Less stress
  • Tones and eases muscles
  • Increase in health of cells & immune function
  • Decreased back pain
  • Decreased pain from pelvic instability
  • Reduction of swelling

What are the benefits of a postnatal massage?

A postnatal massage will help:

  • To ease sore spots and relax muscle tension. The whole process of childbirth has been a strain on your body, particularly your abdomen, lower back and hips. Your upper back might also be sore if you are breastfeeding and not using a suitable position.
  • Increase the flow of blood and oxygen to your muscles, getting rid of the toxins.
  • You feel relaxed. Massage encourages the body to release endorphins – the natural pain killers and feel good hormones secreted by the brain.
  • Your body to release oxytocin. Oxytocin triggers the let-down reflex which releases milk from your breast. This means that you might leak some breastmilk during your massage. A breast massage will help open blocked ducts, loosen clumps or hardened areas, and reduce the risk of mastitis. Vigorous massage on the breasts can do more damage than good however so ensure that only soft and gentle strokes are applied to your breasts.
  • Speed up recovery from a caesarean section if you’ve had one. Although you need to stay clear of your wound as long as it hasn’t healed, gentle massage to the area thereafter will increase blood supply and help with internal healing.
  • Improve well-being and immunity by stimulating lymph flow.
  • You cope with the baby blues and postnatal depression. Some experts say that a massage is an excellent stress buster and mood elevator.

If nothing else, a postnatal massage will give you some time alone. The break will give you the strength to meet the many needs of your baby and home. Or it might help you unwind for a nap if your baby is sleeping too.

What precautions must I take if I had a caesarean?

A caesarean section is a major surgery and you may be in great pain. You will need time to recover from it. If you’ve had a caesarean, wait till your scar is healed before you start getting massages. This should take about a week or two, but let your doctor confirm you are ready for massages before you start.

Massages will help you relax, but instruct your masseuse to stay away from your scar and abdomen. Any pressure in that area so early on after delivery may cause problems. It’s safe to stick to the feet, head, arms and back.

After around 5-6 weeks, a special scar tissue massage will help heal the deeper layers of the wound. Some experts believe that a scar massage can help prevent your tissues from sticking together, which is common after a surgery. This involves special massaging of the region around your scar. Make sure to get a masseuse who is familiar with this kind of massage.

Some say the best time to start the scar tissue massages is within the first 14 weeks of giving birth, but do get your doctor’s approval first.

How do I make time for a postnatal massage?

After your baby arrives, you will be busier than the prime minister! Your life is now all about nappy changes, 2am feedings, bathing and massaging your baby, washing dirty clothes and so much more. Being in the midst of all this hustle and bustle can be stressful. So it’s important to get some “me time”, difficult though it may seem.

  • Ask for help. Ask your husband, mother, mother-in-law, or any other trusted family member to look after your little one while you get a massage. Or try to have it when they are asleep. You may be surprised to find so many offers of help. Knowing that someone trustworthy is looking over your little one will help you relax. The last thing you want to do while getting a massage is worry!
  • Pick the right time. Try to have your massage just after you have fed and changed your little one. If all their needs are met, you are more likely to find an hour or two in which he does not ask for you. It will then also be easier to leave him with another family member or trusted babysitter for a while.
  • Schedule ahead. If you have to go out for your massages, you may want to schedule your massage appointments on weekends when your husband is home to babysit, or perhaps in the afternoon when your baby is taking a nap. This way you get a time that is convenient and less worrisome for you.

When shouldn’t I get a postnatal massage?

A massage may be risky if:

  • you have skin problems such as rashes, blisters, boils and eczema
  • you have any medical complications
  • you have high blood pressure; a lighter type of massage may be more suitable
  • you have a hernia

It’s always best to speak to your doctor before you start going for massages to make sure they are right for you.